Trial over teenager’s tragic death hears dra­matic ev­i­dence: P3


Caernarfon Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Eryl Crump

AMAN ac­cused of the man­slaugh­ter of a teenager killed by a shot­gun “ex­pected it to go click but it’s gone bang”, his co-ac­cused told a court yes­ter­day.

Ben­jamin Ge­orge Fitzsi­mons had been “mess­ing about” with the gun be­fore Pe­ter Col­well was killed, said Ben An­drew Wil­son.

Mr Col­well died of a sin­gle gun­shot wound to the head when the semi-au­to­matic shot­gun was fired while he sat in the back of a Land Rover.

The 18-year-old, from Capel Ucha near Clynnog, had been on a night out with work­mates and was sit­ting in the ve­hi­cle in the car park at the Ship Inn at Llanbedrog, near Pwll­heli, on Fe­bru­ary 4 last year.

Fitzsi­mons, 23, of Nan­horon, Pwll­heli, and Wil­son, 29, of Ely Street, Ely, Cam­bridgeshire, deny gross neg­li­gence man­slaugh­ter and are stand­ing trial at Caernar­fon Crown Court.

Po­lice in­ter­views with Wil­son were read out to the jury by pros­e­cut­ing coun­sel to­day.

The court heard that Wil­son had in­sisted to the of­fi­cers that the gun was safe in the ve­hi­cle.

He said he had bought the gun at Christ­mas and had cho­sen the weapon be­cause of its safety fea­tures.

Wil­son said he left the gun in the ve­hi­cle be­tween the front seats and near the gear stick. It was up­side down, with the bar­rel point­ing back. He said the safety catch was on.

A video in­ter­view with Wil­son was shown in which he demon­strated how the shot­gun was loaded, checked and made ready to fire. He stressed the bar­rel was clear and there is no way it could be loaded, and added that the gun can­not go off with the safety catch on.

To make the gun ca­pa­ble of be­ing fired, it needs to be cocked in “one smooth easy ac­tion” and the safety catch switched to the on-off po­si­tion.

The video showed the gun would not fire with the safety catch on.

Wil­son told the of­fi­cers that Fitzsi­mons had been “mess­ing about” with the gun and his ac­tions had put a car­tridge in the bar­rel.

This had oc­curred ear­lier in the evening be­fore the group ar­rived at the Ship Inn, he said.

Wil­son said that, when the group re­turned to the ve­hi­cle af­ter leav­ing the Ship, Fitzsi­mons had “gone to it and said ha-ha and ex­pected it to go click but it’s gone bang”.

Wil­son in­sisted he left the shot­gun safe and “that’s the truth”.

In his in­ter­views with po­lice, Fitzsi­mons agreed he was the front seat pas­sen­ger and said the group “got into the truck and it just went bang”. “It was all very quick,” he said. Fitzsi­mons said he was aware the shot­gun was in the ve­hi­cle, and said Wil­son al­ways had it in the front of the ve­hi­cle.

Fitzsi­mons ad­mit­ted he had drunk about eight pints of lager dur­ing the evening and couldn’t re­call events clearly but heard the gun fire. He said ev­ery­one got out in a panic and, on look­ing into the ve­hi­cle, could see Pe­ter Col­well ly­ing on his side.

Game­keeper, Harry Robert But­ler, 23, of Lla­ni­estyn, Pwll­heli, and scaf­folder Michael David Fitzsi­mons, 25, of Nan­horon, Pwll­heli, deny pos­sess­ing a loaded shot­gun in pub­lic places, at Pwll­heli, the Bod­fuan Es­tate, Aber­soch and Llanbedrog be­tween Fe­bru­ary 3 and 6 last year.

The jury have been told that Ben Wil­son has pleaded guilty to pos­sess­ing the shot­gun in pub­lic places.

The trial con­tin­ues.

● Main: Pe­ter Col­well died from a sin­gle wound to the face af­ter he was shot while sit­ting in the back of a Land Rover. De­fen­dant Ben An­drew Wil­son, in­set far left, said code­fen­dant Ben­jamin Ge­orge Fitzsi­mons, in­set left, had been “mess­ing about” with a shot­gun and he “ex­pected it to go click and it went bang”

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